“If you are waiting for me to tell you I love you, you’ll be waiting forever.”
When I first heard these words, I remember audibly gasping, as if my juvenile body couldn’t fully absorb the force and impact of the strike. The words pierced my soul, cleaving me with one fierce swoop from the girl I thought I was and the maternal love I thought I possessed. My heart burst into a million pieces. My spirit was crushed. The bedrock on which I had built my sense of self crumbled all around me. The words seared into my brain. In that moment, I was forever branded “unloved.”
Even decades later, I can still replay those same words over and over, with a precise description of every detail down to the split second I heard them. I’m amazed by the power they still hold. I can immediately revert back to the little girl who was physically shaken by the sting of rejection.
Even when I’m not consciously thinking about it, that old familiar melody blends softly into the background of my life. The words lilt and flow like instrumental elevator music, “You are unlovable and unworthy of love. ” The lie resonates so distinctly and so loudly.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
When God gathered together all of my broken pieces and recreated me anew, I wondered what He would do with this heaping pile of pain, rejection, and unworthiness that clung to me like an old dryer sheet.
How would God love me out of this mess? You see, I knew that God so loved “the world” and by extension, that meant me too. I believed that God loved me…by default. God was forced to love me, because He had to honor His promise. God tolerated me, because I was a small, insignificant part of the world that He wanted saved. The lie had snowballed and become much louder – so loud that it had now contaminated my salvation.
However, lies cannot stand in the face of God’s Truth. With lots and lots of prayer and lots and lots of God-sent helpers, God poured into me a deep hunger and thirst for His love and for His Word. It took a long time for me to understand that when lies get loud, God’s truth must echo louder.
In my mind, love was a very abstract concept that depended on what I was feeling and experiencing. I believed that God’s love for me varied from day to day and even from moment to moment.
However, the truth is that God’s love isn’t abstract at all. God’s love shows up as a person – Jesus. Jesus is love. Jesus’ love is exactly as He is…intimate, personal, all-powerful, unchanging, constant, and absolutely dependable. Jesus didn’t just die for the world. He died for me…individually. He died for all of the messy, broken, and rejected parts of me. Jesus fiercely loves me just as I am, and there is nothing I can do about it.
If God is fully committed to loving me with His relentless and unfailing love, how committed am I to believing that I possess His love?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39
I wish I could say that I rarely hear that old familiar tune of rejection or that I no longer struggle with the voices of unworthiness. I struggle, but now I know what to do. I scream His Word out loudly to my broken heart until the lie is silenced and only the Truth endures.
Here’s the Truth. Jesus was crushed for MY iniquity. His body was broken for ME. He sacrificed everything for ME, because I am worth everything to Him. Jesus loves me with an unbreakable, unshakable, unbending, unending love! His love for me has never been an obligation. He pursued ME and chooses ME day after day for all eternity. There is nothing I can do to make God love me any more than He does. There is nothing I can do to make God love me any less than He does.
I fight daily to walk boldly, confidently, and securely in God’s love and forgiveness. I fight, because when I truly know God loves me, I am no longer desperate for everybody else to love me. God’s relentless love for me shapes the way I live and the way I love.
On those days when I forget that I am loved, I run to the precious pages of His Living Word for the proof. There, I am found. There, I am always reminded that I am fully known, fully accepted, and deeply loved.
In what circumstances are you tempted to doubt God’s relentless love for you?
How can we pray for you as you combat lies of doubt, unworthiness, and rejection?
Peace and grace to you,
Terria serves on the LGG encourager and social media teams. She lives in Virginia with her husband. She is a proud mother of two beautiful girls in college. Her passionate goal is to ignite and empower a generation of millennial women to grab hold of God’s truth and cling to it. She can be tracked down hard at work in busy hospitals listening to patients’ stories, while sharing the lessons and love that God has poured out in her life. Despite the sometimes chaotic circumstances of Terria’s life, God always shows Himself strong and loving.
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